Terrace real estate sales – and selling prices – increase dramatically

First quarter numbers show the average selling price of a single family home has increased nearly $100,000 in just two years

The average selling price for a single family home in Terrace is nearly $100,000 more than it was at this time two years ago.

Numbers released by the Northern B.C. Real Estate Board (NBCBEB) show that the average selling price for a detached family home in Terrace for the first quarter of 2012 was $200,926. By March, 2013 that first quarter average was $226,303, and now, into the first three months of 2014 that number has climbed to $294,067. In 2014, 43 single family homes were sold, compared to 32 last year and 41 in 2012.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase over the last two to three years,” said realtor and NBCBEB director John Evans. “If you would have bought around 2010, 2011 that’s when there were some really good buys around, and in that case it’s basically doubled.”

And it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon, he said.

“The market is continuing to show that it’s very strong and showing signs of continuing to improve,” he said. “We continue to get calls.”

In the first quarter of 2014, 101 properties were sold overall in Terrace, up from 60 last year. This year, the total value of these properties was $23 million – double the $11.5 million total for the first quarter of 2013.

“Going from 60 to 101 sales – that’s a huge increase in the activity that’s going on in the community,” said Evans.

Homes sell quickly and to a wide variety of buyers, said Evans, noting that it’s a combination of first-time homebuyers, out-of-town buyers that are moving to the area for work, out-of-town investors looking to capitalize on the area’s growth, and people who already own homes looking for a rental property.

“The out-of-town investor who is looking to Terrace now, they’re seeing opportunities because housing is still relatively cheap if you’re on the outside looking in,” he said. “It seems expensive to us, because we’ve seen it go up so much in the past three to four years, but anybody else coming from out of town, the larger centres, they see a house for $300,000 and they go ‘well, that’s a nice house for $300,000’.”

But what you can get in Terrace for $300,000 now is different than what you would have seen last year.

“Every day that goes on, you’re getting less home for more money,” he said. “There are homes available … there’s a variety out there, you’re not getting the same bang for your buck that you were a year ago. It’s just like rentals, there are rentals out there, just not rentals for $550 – $600 a month.”

As of March 31, there were 121 properties of all types available for sale in the Terrace area over the MLS system, down from 184 on March 31, 2013.

Meanwhile in Kitimat, 23 single family homes have been sold over the first quarter of 2014, with an average selling price of $321,786, the highest in the northwest region. In March 2013, the average selling price was $189,687 and 35 homes had been sold.

And more single family homes were sold in Prince Rupert than any other community in Northern B.C. during the first three months of 2014, aside from Prince George and Fort St. John, with 56 homes sold in the city with an average selling price of $190,461. At this time last year, 48 detached units had sold in Prince Rupert, with an average selling price of about the same, $185,918.